Archive | January 2020

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

Moebius syndrome is a rare neurological condition that primarily affects the muscles that control facial expression and eye movement.”

U.S. Library of Medicine (NIH.gov)

Part I Moebius Syndrome

 

Moebius syndrome is a rare neurological disorder characterized by weakness or paralysis (palsy) of multiple cranial nerves, most often the 6th (abducens) and 7th (facial) nerves. Other cranial nerves are sometimes affected. The disorder is present at birth (congenital). If the 7th nerve is involved, the individual with Moebius syndrome is unable to smile, frown, pucker the lips, raise the eyebrows, or close the eyelids. If the 6th nerve is affected, the eye cannot turn outward past the midline. Other abnormalities include underdevelopment of the pectoral muscles and defects of the limbs. Moebius syndrome is not progressive. The exact cause is unknown. It appears to occur randomly (sporadically) in most cases; however, some cases occur in families suggesting that there may be a genetic component.

Introduction:

Congenital facial and abducens palsy was first described by Von Graefe (1880) and Moebius (1888), a German neurologist after whom the syndrome was later named.

Signs and Symptoms:

The abnormalities and severity of Moebius syndrome vary greatly from one person-to-another. The classically accepted diagnostic criteria include: 1) facial paralysis or weakness affecting at least one but usually both sides of the face (7th cranial nerve), 2) paralysis of sideways (lateral) movement of the eyes (6th cranial nerve); and 3) preservation of vertical movements of the eyes. Less often, other cranial nerves, including the 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th may be affected.

Infants with Moebius syndrome may drool excessively and exhibit crossed eyes (strabismus). Because the eyes do not move from side-to-side (laterally), the child is forced to turn the head to follow objects. Infants who lack facial expression often are described as having a “mask-like” face that is especially obvious when laughing or crying. Affected infants may also have difficulties feeding, including problems swallowing and poor sucking. Corneal ulceration may occur because the eyelids remain open during sleep.

There are a wide variety of additional abnormalities. Some children with Moebius syndrome have a short, malformed tongue and/or an abnormally small jaw (micrognathia). Cleft palate may also be present. These abnormalities contribute to feeding and breathing difficulties. Children with cleft palate are prone to ear infections (otitis media). There may be external ear anomalies including underdevelopment of the outer portion of the ear (microtia) or total absence of the outer portion of the ear (anotia). If the 8th cranial nerve is affected, there is likely hearing loss. Dental abnormalities are not uncommon. There is an increased risk for childhood cavities. Some affected children have difficulties with speech and delays in speech development.

Skeletal malformations of the limbs occur in over half of children with Moebius sydrome. Lower limb malformations include clubbed feet and underdevelopment of the lower legs; upper extremities may have webbing of the fingers (syndactyly), underdevelopment or absence of the fingers, and/or underdevelopment of the hand. In a few children there may be abnormal side-to-side curvature of the spine (scoliosis), and in approximately 15% of patients underdevelopment of the chest (pectoral) muscles and the breast on one side of the body also occur (see Poland-Moebius syndrome in the Related Disorder section below).

Some affected children exhibit delay in attaining certain milestones such as crawling or walking, most likely due to upper body weakness; however, most children eventually catch-up. Moebius syndrome rarely is associated with minor intellectual disability. Some children have been classified as being on the “autistic spectrum”. The exact relationship between Moebius syndrome and autism is unknown. Some studies have suggested that autism spectrum disorders occur with greater frequency in children with Moebius syndrome; other studies have not confirmed this and suggest that any such relationship is overstated. Moebius syndrome is often associated with a variety of social and psychological consequences. The lack of facial expressions and the inability to smile can cause observers to misinterpret what an affected individual is thinking or feeling or intends. Although clinical anxiety and depression are not more common in children and adolescents with Moebius syndrome, affected individuals may avoid social situations due to apprehension and frustration.

 

 

Part II Breast Cancer

Is there a link between birth control pills and breast cancer?

A number of older studies suggested that birth control pills slightly increased the risk of breast cancer, especially among younger women. In these studies, however, 10 years after discontinuing birth control pills women’s risk of breast cancer returned to the same level as that of women who never used oral contraceptives. Current evidence does not support an increase in breast cancer with birth control pills.

Be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Also, ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screenings.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, your doctor works to find out the specifics of your tumor. Using a tissue sample from your breast biopsy or using your tumor if you’ve already undergone surgery, your medical team determines your breast cancer type. This information helps your doctor decide which treatment options are most appropriate for you.

Here’s what’s used to determine your breast cancer type.

Is your cancer invasive or noninvasive?

Whether your cancer is invasive or noninvasive helps your doctor determine whether your cancer may have spread beyond your breast, which treatments are more appropriate for you, and your risk of developing cancer in the same breast or your other breast.

  • Noninvasive (in situ) breast cancer. In situ breast cancer refers to cancer in which the cells have remained within their place of origin — they haven’t spread to breast tissue around the duct or lobule. One type of noninvasive cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is considered a precancerous lesion. This means that if it were left in the body, DCIS could eventually develop into an invasive cancer. Another type of noninvasive cancer called lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) isn’t considered precancerous because it won’t eventually evolve into invasive cancer. LCIS does, however, increase the risk of cancer in both breasts.
  • Invasive breast cancer. Invasive (infiltrating) breast cancers spread outside the membrane that lines a duct or lobule, invading the surrounding tissues. The cancer cells can then travel to other parts of your body, such as the lymph nodes. If your breast cancer is stage I, II, III or IV, you have invasive breast cancer.

In what part of the breast did your cancer begin?

The type of tissue where your breast cancer arises determines how the cancer behaves and what treatments are most effective. Parts of the breast where cancer begins include:

  • Milk ducts. Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer. This type of cancer forms in the lining of a milk duct within your breast. The ducts carry breast milk from the lobules, where it’s made, to the nipple.
  • Milk-producing lobules. Lobular carcinoma starts in the lobules of the breast, where breast milk is produced. The lobules are connected to the ducts, which carry breast milk to the nipple.
  • Connective tissues. Rarely breast cancer can begin in the connective tissue that’s made up of muscles, fat and blood vessels. Cancer that begins in the connective tissue is called sarcoma. Examples of sarcomas that can occur in the breast include phyllodes tumor and angiosarcoma.

 

FYI a complication that can occur with advanced cancer that many of you may be unaware of. Bone metastasis occurs when cancer cells spread from their original site to a location in the bone. The most common types of cancer more likely to spread to bone include breast, prostate and lung cancers.

Bone metastasis can occur in any bone, but more commonly occurs in the pelvis and spine. Bone metastasis may be the first sign that you have cancer, or it may occur years after your cancer treatment is completed, ex. Hodgkins Disease.

Signs and symptoms of bone metastasis may include the following:

  • Bone pain (back and pelvic pain are most common)
  • Unexplained broken bones
  • Loss of urine and/or bowel function
  • Weakness in the legs
  • High levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause nausea, vomiting and confusion

The most common problem with metastatic bone cancer is pain and fractures. Metastatic bone cancer usually can’t be cured, but instead the goal is to provide pain relief and control further spread. Treatment can make a big difference and may include the following:

  • Medications to repair and build new bone — These medications are similar to those used by people with osteoporosis and can help in building and strengthening your bone.
  • Chemotherapy — Given as a pill or through a vein, used to control and treat cancer that has spread to the bone.
  • Traditional radiation therapy — Radiation is given as external beam therapy to treat the cancer in the bone.
  • Hormone therapy — Medications are used to block hormones (for breast and prostate cancers) that help control the spread of cancer to the bone.
  • Surgery — Used to fix a fracture and stabilize a break from the cancer in the bone.
  • Cryoablation — A special technique that freezes the cancer cells.
  • Radiofrequency ablation — A special technique that heats the cancer cells.
  • Chemoradiation — A form of internal radiation that is given through the vein and travels to the site of bone metastasis and targets the cancer cells.
  • Pain medications — Medications provided with the goal of relieving and controlling pain from bone metastasis.
  • Physical therapy — Exercises may be prescribed to assist in strengthening muscles and providing any assistive devices that may help you (cane, walker, crutches, etc.).

 

If you’re living with metastatic bone cancer, you may find help and resources from a website called Bone Health in Focus. It was established with partners including BreastCancer.org, the National Lung Cancer Partnership and Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network to offer resources that help patients and caregivers understand more about cancer that has spread to the bone (find the site at www.bonehealthinfocus.com).

Mayo Clinic information on cancer that has spread to the bone can be found at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bone-metastasis/basics/definition/con-20035450.

Are you living with cancer that has spread to the bone? Feel free to share your experiences with each other on the this blog striveforgoodhealth.com or on TheMayoclinic.org.

Make the changes in your lifestyles including diet if you want to prevent cancer, live long and have a productive life.

 

REFERENCE: Mayoclinic.org

 

 

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“Staying at a healthy weight, being physically active, and limiting how much alcohol you drink can help reduce your risk of breast cancer.”

American Cancer Society

 

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts.

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it’s far more common in women.

Public support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped improve the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths has been declining, thanks to a number of factors such as earlier detection, new treatments and a better understanding of the disease.

Breast Cancer affects everyone.  Every year, over 200,000 women are diagnosed with new cases of Breast Cancer in the United States, and over 39,000 women will lose their fight with this terrible disease.  Having experienced the effects that cancer has on both the victim and their loved ones support is so important by family and significant ones in our lives.

The Breast Cancer Awareness Month, marked in countries across the world every October, helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.

There are about 1.38 million new cases and 458 000 deaths from breast cancer each year (IARC Globocan, 2008). Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. In low- and middle-income countries the incidence has been rising up steadily in the last years due to increase in life expectancy, increase urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles.

Currently there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer, therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control. When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured. If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option. In such cases, palliative care to relief the suffering of patients and their families is needed.

The majority of deaths (269 000) occur in low- and middle-income countries, where most women with breast cancer are diagnosed in late stages due mainly to lack of awareness on early detection and barriers to health services.

Here is another thing to help breast cancer patients National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Make a difference! Spread the word about mammograms and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.

In the first phases, the breast cancer has no evident signs and symptoms and it differ in folks from lumps to swelling and alterations in the pores and skin.

A lump also modest which is felt does not cause any strange changes and it is unnoticed.

Nevertheless, in a lot of circumstances visual appeal of new lump or a mass is the 1st indicator discovered. The lump may possibly be difficult to contact with uneven edges and they are painless.

But there are cases the lump is really tender, spherical edged and soft. More lumps are painless.

Breast Most cancers Signs and symptoms are:
Swelling of element of the breast or all areas
Pores and skin irritation in the breast.
Nipple pain,
Nipple begins to switch inward (inverted) slowly and gradually
Breast pain.

Breast cancer prevention starts with healthy habits — such as limiting alcohol and staying physically active. Understand what you can do to reduce your breast cancer risk.

If you’re concerned about breast cancer, you may be wondering if there are steps you can take toward breast cancer prevention. Some risk factors, such as family history, can’t be changed. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk.

What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?

Lifestyle changes have been shown in studies to decrease breast cancer risk even in high-risk women.  The following are steps you can take to lower your risk:

  • Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol — including beer, wine or liquor — limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.
  • Don’t smoke. Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women. In addition, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
  • Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
  • Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week.
  • Breast-feed. Breast-feeding may play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
  • Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you’re taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options. You may be able to manage your symptoms with nonhormonal therapies, such as physical activity. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you.
  • Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution. Medical-imaging methods, such as computerized tomography, use high doses of radiation, which have been linked with breast cancer risk. Reduce your exposure by having such tests only when absolutely necessary. While more studies are needed, some research suggests a link between breast cancer and exposure to the chemicals found in some workplaces, gasoline fumes and vehicle exhaust.

Can a healthy diet prevent breast cancer?

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables hasn’t been consistently shown to offer protection from breast cancer. In addition, a low-fat diet appears to offer only a slight reduction in the risk of breast cancer.

However, eating a healthy diet may decrease your risk of other types of cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. A healthy diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight — a key factor in breast cancer prevention.

 

 

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“Winter can be brutal, but research shows you might get some health benefits during the colder months. When it’s cold, your body has to work harder to maintain its core body temperature — and as a result, you might burn more calories. Colder temperatures can help reduce both allergies and inflammation.”

Harvard Health Publishing

Is cold weather good or bad for your health?

the cold2The cold3the cold 4

It depends. Cold weather can be hard on your health in some ways, but it also be good for it, reports the January 2010 issue of the Harvard Health Letter. Most of us spend the winter trying to stay warm, but a little bit of exposure to cold may not be such a bad thing. There are two types of fat in the human body: white fat and brown fat. Brown fat is the heat-producing, calorie-burning fat that babies need to regulate their body temperatures. Most of it disappears with age, but adults retain some brown fat. Dutch researchers reported findings last year that showed that moderately cool temperatures of 61° F activated brown fat in 23 of 24 study volunteers. This is a good thing because brown fat burns calories more efficiently than white fat, and so may help control weight.

It can be tempting to spend the coldest mornings safely tucked under the covers; it’s only natural to want to avoid the most brutal temps. But during periods of such weather-induced isolation, we tend to reach out to contact our closest friends and family on the phone, and end up chatting with them for longer than usual, according to studies of 2012.

For some insects and even animals the freezing cold is not suitable for them and regarding our health well look here; during the summer of 2012 — when West Nile cases were climbing — much was made of the milder 2011-2012 winter and its effect on the disease-spreading mosquito population. The pests thrive in milder climates, meaning they were able to survive — and breed — all winter, just waiting to feast come spring. Freezing or below-freezing temps might kill off some skeeters (and ticks), thereby protecting you from the illnesses they are known to spread.

Through Psychology Today, some research suggests that if the weather never changes, you start taking that sunshine for granted. Shivering through the cold makes those warm spring days seem even better when they finally come along.

There’s a reason putting ice on an injury works. That drop in temperature reduces inflammation in, say, a sprained ankle or stubbed toe. But the theory works on a much grander scale, too — cold temperatures can reduce inflammation and pain all over.  In one recent study, researchers in Finland studied 10 women as they took 20-second plunges into near-freezing water, and also partook in sessions of cold-body cryotherapy (exposing the body to ultra-low temps for brief periods). After being exposed to the cold, participants’ blood showed three times as much norepinephrine, a naturally occurring chemical that may help suppress pain.  In fact, athletes and spa-goers even have a remedy of sorts available for muscle recovery. A 2011 study found that, at extremely low temperatures, such treatments, called cryotherapy, did more for athletes to recover from physical activity than simply resting. Runners who were exposed to temperatures as low as -166 degrees F recovered from exercise faster than those who given other therapies or told to rest, The Atlantic reported. Live in a cold-weather climate? Then you’re well aware that we’ve got a few more weeks of icy temps to endure. But those bitter winds could be doing you more good than you’d think: Preliminary research shows they may lead to a longer life.

In a study published in a recent issue of cell, researchers from the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan discovered that worms exposed to cold temperatures demonstrate a genetic response that triggers longer life spans.

Studies have shown that exposure to freezing temperatures, even for short periods, can significantly increase your energy expenditure for hours afterward. Swim a few laps in cool water, or take a power walk in winter weather, to enjoy the perk up for your workout.

So enjoy the cold!

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

Cotard delusion, also known as or nihilistic delusion or walking corpse syndrome or Cotard’s syndrome , is a rare mental disorder in which the affected person holds the delusional belief that they are already dead, do not exist, are putrefying, or have lost their blood or internal organs.

Healthline.com

Cotard’s syndrome

Cotard delusion, also known as or nihilistic delusion or walking corpse syndrome or Cotard’s syndrome , is a rare mental disorder in which the affected person holds the delusional belief that they are already dead, do not exist, are putrefying, or have lost their blood or internal organs.

Signs and Symptoms: 

One of the main symptoms of Cotard delusion is nihilism. Nihilism is the belief that nothing has any value or meaning. It can also include the belief that nothing really exists. People with Cotard delusion feel as if they’re dead or rotting away. In some cases, they might feel like they’ve never existed.

While some people feel this way about their entire body, others only feel it in regard to specific organs, limbs, or even their soul.

Depression is also closely related to Cotard delusion. A 2011 review of existing research about Cotard delusion notes that 89% of documented cases include depression as a symptom.

Other symptoms include:

  • anxiety
  • hallucinations
  • hypochondria
  • guilt
  • preoccupation with hurting yourself or death

Researchers aren’t sure what causes Cotard delusion, but there are a few possible risk factors. Several studies indicate that the average age of people with Cotard delusion is about 50. It can also occur in children and teenagers. People under the age of 25 with Cotard delusion tend to also have bipolar depression. Women also seem to be more likely to develop Cotard delusion.

In addition, Cotard delusion seems to occur more often in people who think their personal characteristics, rather than their environment, cause their behavior. People who believe that their environment causes their behavior are more likely to have a related condition called Capgras syndrome. This syndrome causes people to think their family and friends have been replaced by imposters. Cotard delusion and Capgras syndrome can also appear together.

Other mental health conditions that might increase someone’s risk of developing Cotard delusion include:

  • bipolar disorder
  • postpartum depression
  • catatonia
  • depersonalization disorder
  • dissociative disorder
  • psychotic depression
  • schizophrenia

Cotard delusion also seems to be associated with certain neurological conditions, including:

  • brain infections
  • brain tumors
  • dementia
  • epilepsy
  • migraines
  • multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • stroke
  • traumatic brain injuries